When I worked in the Marvel Bullpen in the mid-’70s, one of the many things I’m still amazed the company would let a kid like me be in charge of was the 1975 Marvel Comic Con. Phil Seuling, who’d been running the famed July 4th weekend comic book conventions, was the organizational brains of the event, dealing with the hotel, the dealers, the memberships, etc., while I took care of the creative aspects—the panels, the program book, wrangling the talent, and so on.
As a result, there were dozens of memos flying around the office as we tried to pull the thing together, many of them written by me, but quite a few from Stan Lee. Unless there’s a demand for it (which I’m not expecting), I’m going to spare you from having to read any of the memos I wrote while trying to get this off the ground, and just share the missives from those who matter … like the following two-pager from Stan in response to one of my many lists of programming suggestions.
To me, the most intriguing part of the memo is Stan’s insistence that we eschew the word “horror,” because it’s “like waving a red flag to a bull in regards to most parents.” Things have changed a bit in the intervening decades. At least, it seems like they have. (They have, haven’t they?)
As for his comments that the panels needed more artists, that they were too writer-heavy … yeah, what can I say, I was guilty. He had me dead to rights. My writerly bias was showing and Stan properly reined it in … which I hope any of you who made it to the con in 1975 saw.
And speaking of that, a show of hands. How many of you DID attend that convention, now almost 36 years ago?